|Publication number||US7948279 B2|
|Application number||US 12/472,197|
|Publication date||May 24, 2011|
|Priority date||Jul 18, 2005|
|Also published as||CN101228494A, CN101228494B, EP1904910A2, US7538590, US20070013418, US20090230999, WO2007012010A2, WO2007012010A3|
|Publication number||12472197, 472197, US 7948279 B2, US 7948279B2, US-B2-7948279, US7948279 B2, US7948279B2|
|Original Assignee||Micron Technology, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (24), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (3), Classifications (8), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of and claims priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/183,642, filed on Jul. 18, 2005, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,538,590 which issued on May 26, 2009.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to integrated circuits and, more particularly, to a clock divider employing true single phase logic.
2. Description of the Related Art
This section is intended to introduce the reader to various aspects of art that may be related to various aspects of the present invention, which are described and/or claimed below. This discussion is believed to be helpful in providing the reader with background information to facilitate a better understanding of the various aspects of the present invention. Accordingly, it should be understood that these statements are to be read in this light, and not as admissions of prior art.
Clocking circuits are employed in a wide variety of digital circuits and devices to synchronize operations across devices, circuit boards, or integrated circuits. For a variety of reasons, however, a single clock frequency is often not sufficient to accommodate every device or circuit in a complex computer or other electronic device. For this reason, many computers or digital devices employ multiple clock signals at different frequencies. For example, in some computers, a central processing unit may be clocked by a first clock signal at a first clock frequency, while the memory is clocked by a second clock signal at a second, different clock frequency. Rather than employ multiple clocks, most systems derive alternate clock frequencies from a single base clock frequency, which is typically the clock signal used for the central processing unit. Implementing clock dividers provides one technique for performing this derivation.
As most people are aware, computers and computer-related technologies have been steadily increasing in computing power and complexity over the past several years. One popular technique for increasing the computing power of a computer is to increase the clock speed of the central processing unit within the computer. For example, many central processing units now operate with clock speeds of two to four gigahertz or more. Most conventional clock dividers, however, are not suitable for dividing clock signals in this frequency range, because most conventional clock dividers employ static logic gates and flip-flops that have internal logic gate delays and set-up times that are slower than the period (i.e., 1/frequency) of clock signals above two gigahertz. In other words, conventional, static-logic-based clock dividers are often too slow to accurately divide clock signals with frequencies above two gigahertz.
Embodiments of the present invention may address one or more of the problems set forth above.
Certain aspects commensurate in scope with the originally claimed invention are set forth below. It should be understood that these aspects are presented merely to provide the reader with a brief summary of certain forms the invention might take and that these aspects are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. Indeed, the invention may encompass a variety of aspects that may not be set forth below.
There is provided a true single phase logic clock divider that is configured to divide a clock signal by increments of two, three, four, or six. Because the true single phase logic clock divider is based on true single phase logic instead of static logic, the true single phase logic clock divider is able to reliably divide clock signals that could not reliably be divided by clock dividers based on static logic gates. There is also provided a method comprising receiving an input signal with a frequency between 2.5 gigahertz and 4 gigahertz and producing an output signal with a frequency approximately one-third of the frequency of the input signal.
Advantages of the invention may become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:
One or more specific embodiments of the present invention will be described below. In an effort to provide a concise description of these embodiments, not all features of an actual implementation are described in the specification. It should be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation, as in any engineering or design project, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developers' specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business-related constraints, which may vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it should be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of design, fabrication, and manufacture for those of ordinary skill having the benefit of this disclosure.
As described above, conventional clock dividers employ static logic gates and flip-flops to divide the frequency of a clock signal. Static logic gates employ Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductors (“CMOS”) based circuits that include both p-type (PMOS) and n-type (NMOS) Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors (“MOSFETs”). These static gates are designed to always produce an output that is a logical function of the inputs regardless of the passage of time. Most static logic gates and flip-flops, however, have set-up and delay times of 500 picoseconds (“ps”) or more. Disadvantageously, many modern central processor units operate at clock frequencies with periods below 500 ps. For this reason, conventional static-logic-based clock dividers are often too slow to divide the clock signals in modern computers. Embodiments of the present technique employ dynamic logic to provide clock dividers to overcome this disadvantage.
Dynamic logic, on the other hand, has lower delay times, because dynamic logic has employs a primarily NMOS MOSFETS and uses the precharge to evaluate logic. Further, unlike static logic flip-flops, dynamic logic flip-flop only use one phase clock instead of two phase clocks. One type of dynamic logic is also referred to as True Single Phase Logic (“TSPL”). TSPL-based logic circuits, logic gates, and flip-flops have delay times well below 500 ps. Embodiments of the present invention include a TSPL-based clock divider that is configurable to divide a clock signal by increments of two, three, four, or six.
Turning initially to
A chipset 14 may be operably coupled to the CPU 12. Amongst other functions, the chipset 14 may provide a communication pathway for signals between the CPU 12 and the other components of the system 10, which may include a memory controller 18, an input/output (“I/O”) bus 24, and a disk drive controller 26. The chipset 14 may also comprise a system clock 16. The system clock 16 may comprise any one of a number of other clocking circuits, as well known to those skilled in the art. The chipset 14 may transmit a clock signal 46 (see
As stated above, the memory controller 18 may be coupled to the chipset 14 and the system clock 16. In alternate embodiments, the memory controller 18 may be integrated into the chipset 14. In the embodiment illustrated in
The chipset 14 may also be coupled to the I/O bus 24. The I/O bus 24 may serve as a communication pathway for signals from the chipset 14 from the I/O devices 30, 32, and 34. The I/O devices 30, 32, and 34 may include the mouse 30, the video display 32, or the keyboard 34. The I/O bus 24 may employ any one of a number of communication protocols to communicate with the I/O devices 30, 32, and 34. In alternate embodiments, the I/O bus 24 may be integrated into the chipset 14.
The disk drive controller 26 may also be coupled to the chipset 14. The disk drive controller 26 may serve as a communication pathway between the chipset 14 and one or more internal disk drives 28. The disk drive controller 26 and the internal disk drive 28 may communicate with each other or with the chipset using virtually any suitable type of communication protocol.
It is important to note that the system 10 described in regard to
As illustrated, the clock divider 20, may comprise a Divide-by-3-or-6 circuit 40 and a Divide-by-2-or-4 circuit 42. As will be described further below, the Divide-by-3-or-6 circuit 40 is configured to divide the clock signal 46 by either three or six; whereas the Divide-by-2-or-4 circuit 42 is configured to divide the clock signal 46 by two or four. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the clock divider 20 is illustrated with a single Divide-by-3-or-6 circuit 40 and a single Divide-by-2-or-4 circuit 42 for illustrative purposes only. In alternate embodiments, the clock divider 20 may comprise multiple Divide-by-3-or-6 circuits 40 or multiple Divide-by-2-or-4 circuits 42. Moreover, as described herein, the components of the Divide-by-3-or-6 circuit 40 and the Divide-by-2-or-4 circuit 42 may be reorganized or duplicated to create circuits configured to divide the clock signal 46 by dimensions other than those described.
The clock divider 20 may receive the clock signal 46, a reset signal 48, a divide by 6 flag 50, or a divide by 4 flag 52. The clock signal 46 may comprise the clock signal generated by a system clock 16 (shown in
The illustrated clock divider 20 also receives the divide by 6 flag 50 and the divide by 4 flag 52. In one embodiment, the divide by 6 flag 50 is a digital signal indicative of whether the clock divider 20 should divide the clock signal by 3 or by 6. Specifically, if the divide by 6 flag is high, the clock divider 20 may be configured to divide by 6 rather than by 3, whereas if the divide by 6 flag is low, the clock divider 20 may be configured to divide by 3 rather than 6. Similarly, the divide by 4 flag 52 may be indicative of whether the clock divider 20 should divide the clock signal 46 by 2 or by 4.
The clock divider 20 may output the divided clock signal via either a divide By 3/6 output 54 or a divide By 2/4 output 56. Specifically, the clock signal 46 divided by either 3 or 6 may be transmitted from the clock divider 20 via the divide By 3/6 output 54, and the clock signal 46 divided by either 2 or 4 may be transmitted from the clock divider via the divide by 2/4 output 56. In an alternate embodiment, the divide by 6 flag 50 and the divide by 4 flag 52 are consolidated into a single input indicative of dividing the clock signal 46 by either 4 or 6. Moreover, in yet another alternate embodiment, the clock divider 20 may comprise a single output to transmit any suitable permutation of clock division. In this embodiment, one or more additional logic signals may be employed to indicate which frequency (i.e., ½, ⅓, ⅙, etc.) of output is to be transmitted out of the clock divider 20.
Turning in more detail to the Divide-by-3-or-6 circuit 40, the Divide-by-3-or-6 circuit 40 may comprise a Divide-by-3 circuit 58. As its name indicates, the Divide-by-3 circuit 58 is configured to divide the frequency of the clock signal 46 by three to produce an output signal 61 with ⅓ the frequency of the clock signal 46. The Divide-by-3 circuit 58 is comprised of two Partial Divide-by-3 circuits 59 a and 59 b, which will be described in greater detail in relation to
As illustrated in
The Divide-by-2-or-4 circuit 42 may comprise a Divide-by-2 circuit 64 b and a Divide-by-2 circuit 64 c, each of which is configured to divide the frequency of an incoming clock signal (CLK) by 2. In one embodiment, the Divide-by-2 circuits 64 b and 64 c are identical to the Divide-by-2 circuit 64 a described above in regard to the Divide-by-3 circuit 40. As illustrated, the Divide-by-2 circuit 64 b may be coupled to the clock signal input 46. As such, the Divide-by-2 circuit 64 b may be configured to divide the frequency of the clock signal 46 by two. The output from the Divide-by-2 circuit 64 b may then be coupled to the Divide-by-2 circuit 64 c via inverters 76 and 78 and NAND gate 79 to divide the output from the Divide-by-2 circuit 64 b by two to produce a clock signal that has a frequency that is ¼ the frequency of the clock signal 46. The Divide-by-2-or-4 circuit 42 may also comprise inverters 80 and 82 as well as NAND gates 84, 86, and 88. The inverters 80 and 82 and the NAND gates 84, 86, and 88 are configured to receive outputs from the Divide-by-2 circuit 64 b and the Divide-by-2 circuit 64 c and output on a divide By 2/4 output 56 a clock signal with a frequency of either ½ or ¼ the frequency of the clock signal 46. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the inverters 80 and 82 and the NAND gates 84, 86, and 88 are merely one embodiment of combinational logic suitable for selecting an output based on the state of the divide by 4 flag 52. In alternate embodiments, different combinational logic schemes may be employed.
The Divide-by-2 circuit 64 a, 64 b, and 64 c may comprise a plurality of transistors MPS1, M0, M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7, M8, M9, and M10. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the transistors MPS1 and M0-M10 may be connected to a power supply VCC, to a grounding source, and to inverters 90, 91, and 92, as illustrated. In one embodiment, the inverters 91 and 92 are used to store the clockout output (see
As illustrated, the partial Divide-by-3 circuit 58 a and 58 b includes two additional transistors not present in the Divide-by-2 circuit 64 a, 64 b, and 64 c. In particular, the partial Divide-by-3 circuit 58 a and 58 b comprises the transistor M11 and the transistor M12. As illustrated, the transistor M11 is coupled in parallel to the transistor M0 between the transistor MPS1 and the transistor M1. The transistor M12 is coupled in series between the transistor M1 and ground. In addition, a gate of the transistor M12 is coupled to an input D2, which was described above in reference to
Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the transistors M0, M1, M11, and M12, as illustrated, are configured to replace the static logic gates that are conventionally employed to create a Divide-by-3 circuit. Specifically, in one embodiment, the transistors M0, M1, M11, and M12 are configured to cause the partial Divide-by-3 circuit 58 a and 58 b to produce outputs in accordance with the following truth table.
TABLE 1 Previous Next D1 D2 D1 D2 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1
where D1 is the output signal from the partial Divide-by-3 circuit 59 a and D2 is the output signal from the partial Divide-by-3 circuit 59 b. Those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that in the Table 1 illustrated above, the next value for D1 is given by the previous value of D1 NAND the previous value of D2 and that the next value for D2 is given by the inverse of D1 NAND the previous value of D2.
Moreover, those skilled in the art will appreciate, however, that the alternate arrangements of the transistors M0, M1, M11, and M12 may be employed to create the partial Divide-by-3 circuit 59 a and 59 b in alternate embodiments. In these alternate embodiments, additional transistors (not shown) may be included or some of the illustrated transistors may be removed or altered.
While the invention may be susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and have been described in detail herein. However, it should be understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||327/115, 327/118, 337/47|
|Cooperative Classification||H03K23/44, H03K23/60|
|European Classification||H03K23/60, H03K23/44|